Several years ago my son gave me a subscription to a mail-order curry service, The Spicery. Every month a little package would plop through the letter box, filled with little sachets of premixed spices, each carefully labelled, accompanied by a recipe and list of ingredients to purchase. Some of the recipes were so exotic that it would have been difficult to source the spices and we feasted on fabulous meals.
A month or so ago I wanted to buy some really good quality chillis to satisfy my requirement for ‘hot’ foods as required by my Traditional Chinese Medicine Yin (cold) diagnosis. So I re-subscribed and stocked up my store cupboard with all sorts of rare and wonderful little sachets of flavour.
Once a month I will share my culinary exploits with you but I won’t be giving the recipe as the key ingredients arrive in a package! Last night’s bibimbap is not something I would have tried myself without being pushed by my subscription as it is quite fiddly, but with my pre-mixed spices it was pretty easy.
Bibimbap is a Korean dish, made from sushi rice and topped with a mixture of raw and cooked vegetables and a fried egg. I made my own kimchi – pickled cabbage – which I left to souse all afternoon rather than the three months or so they ferment it in Korea (but it tasted pretty good all the same), and added raw carrot and some shitake mushroom sautéed with spring onions and soy sauce. There is a salty vinegar-based pouring chilli sauce for the bibimbap. The idea is that you mush everything together on your bowl and shovel the delicious mixture into your mouth with chopsticks. The oozy egg adds a layer of unctuousness.
To accompany this I made some crispy fried chicken in a batter made from plain and cornflour which you dip in a sticky chilli sauce, also made from the contents of the box. This is accompanied by more pickled veg – cucumber and radish in this case. The Koreans love their pickles – something to do with the long cold winters I guess.
Son, who is a real foodie, and husband, who is somewhat of a Bibimbap aficionado having been to Seoul several times, both pronounced the results delicious AND authentic.
Can’t wait for the next box…which I will share with you. And, no, I have not been paid to write this by The Spicery! But I do recommend you at least look at their website if you are after some culinary adventures.